Why do we care if they marry? (I say “they” because I am a heterosexual.) Seriously—why? I don’t care if two teenagers marry. I don’t care if two people 50 years difference in age marry. I don’t care if people marry in mixed races. I don’t care if divorcees marry, if Ohioans marry, if two people of different religions marry or if two people marry when one of them is pregnant. Oh, we may care from a concerned standpoint—but no one is out petitioning laws to ban such practices.
If Bob and Tom want to marry—how exactly is that affecting you? What great tragedy has just entered your life which is so insurmountable we must enact amendments to State constitutions to keep this tragedy from happening again?
What I see is a group of people (not just Christians) who simply don’t like homosexuality. Whether for religious reasons, or the way the person was raised, or cultural pressure. And since the laws making homosexuality illegal have failed; the next best thing is to deny them some other privilege. Some other way to make ‘em uncomfortable.
We don’t have a problem with homosexuals driving. They seem adapt enough to do so. We don’t have a problem with them working—they make fine customers and patrons and tenants and debtors. We don’t have a problem with them voting, or serving in governmental positions (not legally, anyway), or walking in the park, or being on television.
But if they want to marry—GASP! The horrors! Have you ever stopped to think why? What the big deal is?
I will submit the two worst arguments for banning homosexual marriage are the slippery slope claim and “The Bible says ____.”
This argument is typically framed, “If we let gays marry it would start a slippery slope. What is to stop polygamists from marrying? Or people marrying pets? Or pedophiles marrying small children?”
Hmm…let’s think about that for a second, shall we? *snaps fingers* That’s it! That’s what would stop such a slippery slope from happening--we can actually think! Do you know it is possible to enact laws to allow some groups of people do some things, without the necessary eventuality that ALL people will do ALL things? Really—you can!
Do you also realize we could use the “slippery slope” argument on just about anything to preclude us from passing laws on just about anything? For example: If we pass a law to allow 18 year olds to marry, this could dangerously lead us to allowing 17 year olds to marry, which could, by slippery slope, lead to allowing 16, 15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6…. Oh wait. Why doesn’t that happen?
Because we actually can figure out how to determine a cut-off and stop. Lawmakers do look at the laws they are passing, and the reasons behind them. They do not shrug and say, “Aw, gee. We let homosexuals marry. Guess we gotta let people marry a tree as well.” Frankly, if I was a representative, senator or governor I would be insulted to think it was claimed I was so stupid I couldn’t figure out how to put limits on anything once I passed a law.
The following is the classic example of how silly a claim of “slippery slope” can be:
But you can't hold a whole fraternity responsible for the behavior of a few, sick twisted individuals. For if you do, then shouldn't we blame the whole fraternity system?
And if the whole fraternity system is guilty, then isn't this an indictment of our educational institutions in general? I put it to you Greg -- isn't this an indictment of our entire American society?
Well…you can do whatever you want to us. But we're not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America. Gentlemen!
”The Bible says ____”
…or “God says ___.” Now at first blush, this may seem to be an infringement upon another person’s right to petition for laws which they favor. It is not. They can. I have no problem with that. If a person said, “I don’t want homosexuals to marry because I don’t want it”—they are perfectly within their constitutional rights to pursue such a cause to their utmost.
However, if they are going to cloak this right in some sort of divine admonition, or divine ordinance—I will look to that with a far closer scrutiny. To see what that basis is, and further to determine whether they are making up what their god says to justify what they want.
First of all, it should be noted the Bible is silent (both in the Tanakh and the New Testament) regarding homosexual marriage. Probably because it was not being practiced during the time of either writing (certainly not on a large scale, if at all). The same way the Bible is silent regarding e-mail, or coffee in church, or whether to buy an SUV compared to a Mini-van. The issues didn’t exist at the time—so the Bible wouldn’t address it.
The Bible does address acts of sex which are homosexual. Rom. 1:26-27. “A-ha!” the person may say, “If homosexual acts are sinful—we have every right to ban them from marrying to commit such acts.”
Where did it become your obligation to stop others from sinning? When did you become the “Sin Police”? The ending of Romans One is a list of sins which the world (the non-believers) are engaged in. In one of the greatest turns of irony, vs 26 starts off with, “For this reason God gave them up…”
According to the very verses you use, your God isn’t trying to stop them; who are you to assume a duty even your God won’t do?
I’ll let you in on two (2) not-so-secret secrets.
Lean in close.
1. They are having sex regardless of not being married.
Yep, it’s true. Did you honestly think the entire homosexual community consists of frustrated virgins aching for the laws of America to change so that one day they could actually have sex by consummating their marriage? In fact, in yet another short-sighted irony, the fact they cannot marry makes them less likely to wait for marriage. ‘Cause they can’t!
How many people do you really think are not committing homosexual acts because they can’t be homosexually married? Do you think this is making even a dent in your duties on “Sin Patrol”? Do you think you are preventing a single homosexual act of sex by virtue of not allowing marriage?
Why not pass a law prohibiting homosexuals from having driver’s licenses? This would be far more effective in reducing acts you consider sin.
2. Being homosexual is more than sex.
I am not qualified to talk in this area, but in reading what homosexuals write, and having associated with a few, I have come to understand it is who they are. It is more than a preference for a certain sexual act. It is an attraction to the same gender.
Much the same way I am attracted to my female wife for more than just a certain shape of bones and skin. I am fascinated with the way she smells. The way she talks. The way she moves. The way she thinks.
If a person feels that same way about another of their same gender…you won’t be able to legislate it away.
Secondly, as I look at your Bible and your God, I start to read other sins. Sins like allowing someone to marry who was previously divorced for reasons other than adultery. (Matt. 5:32, 19:9) Where is the call for laws prohibiting divorced people from re-marrying?
Look, if you are trying to convince me you…er…I mean your God…has its panties all in a pinch over sins occurring, then why is it only the sins YOU don’t like? Why is it you…er…your god is not equally all up in arms over a violation of this sin as well? Shouldn’t the laws define marriage as “One man and one woman, neither of whom has been divorced, unless the divorce arose out of adultery or the person was previously married to a non-believer who left them”? (1 Cor. 7:15)
Many Christians hold that 2 Cor. 6:14 (“Do not be unequally yoked with non-believers.”) is a prohibition against believers marrying non-believers. A sin! Where is the call for the laws of marriage to be changed to prevent this grievous harm? Now our definition reads, “One man and one woman of one belief, neither of whom has been divorced, unless the divorce arose out of adultery or the person was previously married to a non-believer who left them.”
And don’t forget the famous passage of 1 Cor. 7:9. “Better to marry than burn with passion.” Is it a sin to be so horny? Although no specific verse addresses it, many Christians infer pre-marital sex is a sin. If you can’t wait—we should order marriage quickly. Where is the call for the definition: “One man and one woman of one belief, neither of whom has been divorced, unless the divorce arose out of adultery or the person was previously married to a non-believer who left them, who must get married before they become so horny they fornicate prior to hearing, ‘I now pronounce you husband and wife.’”
Ah—we don’t want to follow all those pesky sins associated with marriage, do we? Just the ones that affect others. You know—the gays.
The Bible equally speaks against gluttons. Prov. 23:20-21, Titus 1:12. Just as homosexuality is amongst a list of sins in Romans 1, gluttony is included in a list of bad character traits and sins in Matt. 11:19 and Luke 7:34.
Where is the call banning fat people from marrying? Oh, I hear the cries of differentiation. The reason homosexual marriage is to be banned is that homosexuals will continue to be sinning throughout the marriage by committing homosexual acts.
Yet equally, won’t fat people encourage each other to eat more? To sin? Worse, will they provide a lifestyle which will encourage their children to become gluttons? At least homosexuals will allow their children to choose their orientation—will gluttons provide a similar choice for their own children? To eat healthy?
Further, this concept of “their marrying will provide more opportunity to sin” falls flat on its face when viewed in light of all the other areas which marriage provides more opportunity to sin. You can’t commit the sin of a wrongful divorce without marrying. Gay or straight. The only way to commit the sin of failing to love your wife is to…yeah…you get it. Have a wife.
Regardless of who marries who—according to your God and your Bible, the roles of marriage offers greater opportunities to sin. If it is post-marriage sin you are so worried about, let’s ban it altogether.
I tire of the cloaked justification for why a person is “entitled” to be against homosexual marriage. If you don’t like it—fine! I can understand preference. But don’t try and sell the concept it has nothing do with your likes or dislikes and you are (reluctantly) bound to follow some moral code you secretly don’t like. Don’t try and sell you are just doing what your God wants you do to, and if it was up to you--it would be a fine thing.
Nobody buys it anymore.
(Endnote: I wrote most of this yesterday, prior to the California ruling. Good timing.)